No matter what specific type of sexual misconduct you are accused of, being convicted of a sex crime in Texas can have substantial repercussions in both a legal and personal sense. On top of the potential for steep criminal fines and lengthy terms in jail or prison, you will also likely be required to register as a sex offender with the state for 10 years at minimum and possibly the rest of your life.
Understanding possible Plano sex crime penalties can be key to understanding what defense strategy might best suit your circumstances and help protect your future prospects. An experienced sex crime defense attorney could provide guidance and support tailored to your specific case and, once retained, diligently enforce your rights from beginning to end of your legal proceedings.
Sentencing Ranges for Different Sex Offenses
The term “sex crime” covers a wide variety of criminal offenses in Texas, some of which are considered misdemeanors. For example, indecent exposure is categorized as a class B misdemeanor in Plano, which means the maximum penalties that a conviction for this sex crime could lead to would be a $2,000 fine and a 180-day jail term. Likewise, public lewdness is a class A misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction by up to a $4,000 fine and up to one year of incarceration.
However, the vast majority of Texas sex crimes are considered felony offenses, which means they could be punished by higher maximum fines of $10,000 and imprisonment in state prison rather than local or county jail. In some situations, first-time offenders are not sanctioned as harshly as people with existing records—for example, possession of child pornography is categorized as a third-degree felony for defendants with no prior convictions for this offense, but it can be a second-degree or first-degree felony for repeat offenders.
Other felony sex crimes, like sexual assault, may be prosecuted as different degrees of felonies based on the specific conduct allegedly involved. A qualified sex crimes defense attorney could provide case-specific information during a private consultation about the criminal penalties associated with a particular charge.
Sex Offender Registration Requirements in Plano
While not every sex offense in Texas has mandatory sex offender registration as a potential punishment, the majority of them do. Under state law, any adult convicted of a qualifying sex crime in criminal court—or any juvenile offender who receives a deferred adjudication of delinquent conduct—must register immediately after being dismissed from criminal proceedings or after serving any term of imprisonment to which they are sentenced.
Individuals convicted or adjudicated delinquent for a second offense of indecent exposure, indecency with a child, solicitation of prostitution from someone under 18, or online solicitation of a minor must register for a minimum of 10 years. All other offenders convicted of qualifying sex crimes—including all forms of sexual assault, possession of child pornography, and indecency with a child by exposure or contact—are required to register for life.
A Plano Attorney Could Explain Sex Crime Penalties in More Detail
Depending on what particular charges you are facing, the legal, personal, and professional consequences of a sex crime allegation could vary wildly. Regardless of how your case began or looks likely to play out, though, having support from dedicated legal representation can be vital to minimizing the long-term impact it has on your life.
Assistance from a committed sex crime defense attorney at the Barbieri Law Firm, P.C. might make all the difference when it comes to mitigating Plano sex crime penalties. Call today to discuss your options.